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Community / Archaeological excavation to take place in Scalloway after more than £19,000 raised for dig

The site in question is the field in the middle of the photo.

A CROWDFUNDING campaign to raise cash for a two-week archaeological excavation in a field in Scalloway adjacent to where human remains and artefacts were discovered last year has reached its target.

This means that a dig is now set to take place in the summer to see if more can be found.

Last year a total of 26 human remains, some structures thought to be from the Pictish era and a number of ancient artefacts such as a comb and painted pebbles were discovered in Kristian Leith’s garden at Upper Scalloway after he began groundworks for a shed.

It followed on from a discovery of structures and human remains in the area in 1990 when housing was being built.

Questioning whether there was more to be found in the area, Leith brought in Orkney archaeological company ORCA to carry out geophysical surveys in the adjacent land between the Mill Brae road and his home in Upper Scalloway.

With traditional funding avenues limited, Leith launched a crowdfunding drive with a target of £19,425 to pay for ORCA to carry out an excavation on the piece of land.

As of Monday morning more than 319 people had donated, bringing the total to more than £19,700.

A delighted Leith said that the Skailway project counts ORCA and the University of the Highlands and Islands as supporting partners, as well as Cardiff University and Professor Niall Sharples, who directed the previous dig at Upper Scalloway in the 1990s.

The fundraiser is still open, and Leith said the “more money we have the more we can investigate”.